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20121101
20121101
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-- introduced in the united states in the early 1980s. after a few years in practice in boston, i went to an abstract session at one of our national meetings. a young swiss was there, andreas gruentzig. he presented an abstract about putting a balloon catheter inside the heart, inside the arteries of the heart and blowing it up, and showed on an experimental study, that it dramatically opened the artery. i was absolutely astounded by this. it was just an enlightening experience because putting anything into the coronary arteries was forbidden prior to that time. so he was breaking the rules. it is now the largest coronary procedure done, and there are about 500 to 600,000 procedures done per year now, which is significantly more than the number of bypass operations that are done in the united states. the physician threads a catheter through an artery in the arm or the groin until it reaches the coronary arteries-- the same procedure as an angiogram. but then, the physician threads a second balloon-tipped catheter through the first. the balln is inflated, breaking uthe plaque while comp
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